Can Seasonal Employees Get Workers’ Compensation For Christmas?
As the holiday season comes around in the United States, many stores and other businesses are hiring seasonal employees to help with an anticipated surge in customers. These are sometimes difficult positions to take, working for low pay in high-tension environments. However, if a seasonal employee is injured while on the job, they may be even more frightened, simply because they may believe they are not entitled to workers’ compensation. In reality, many seasonal workers are covered – or, at least, they should be.
Law Only Refers To Full Or Part Time
Florida is a state with very clear and specific rules about who is covered under workers’ compensation statutes. Though there are specific rules that govern the construction and agriculture industries, for the rest, the state requires any business with four or more employees (full or part time) to provide workers’ compensation coverage for all their employees. Note that the law only refers to full or part time employees; it does not make any distinction for temporary or seasonal employees versus those who have been with the company for a longer period of time.
What this means, in short, is that seasonal employees in industries other than construction or agriculture are generally entitled to workers’ compensation coverage if they are hurt on the job. They must follow the same procedures as every worker – reporting the injury within the appropriate length of time, receiving treatment from medical professionals chosen by the company, and so on – but if they do, their claims should be processed in the same manner as any other employee’s.
Seasonal Employees Are Seen As Replaceable
Though seasonal employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they get hurt on the job, many do not collect them, for a variety of reasons. When businesses hire seasonal workers, some of these employees are people who are merely looking for second jobs, but the bulk of them are younger people, who are more often seen as replaceable. As a result, too many seasonal employees are denied medical coverage if they get hurt on the job – they are too intimidated to ask for it, and an unethical employer may be more fixated on holiday profits than their workers’ well-being.
Alternatively, some smaller businesses will outright misclassify seasonal workers as independent contractors, when they ought to be classed as employees. This denies seasonal employees the opportunity to even file for workers’ compensation, and is generally considered fraud by Florida’s Department of Financial Services. Employers are fined heavily even if they do not face criminal charges for misclassification. Yet some employers feel the risk is worth the reward, simply because they can just pay off the employee and hire someone new.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It is very common to look for seasonal work to try and earn extra cash during the holidays. However, it is crucial to be aware of your rights, so that if you get hurt at work, you know that you have the right to seek compensation. The Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys from the Hornsby Law Group are ready and willing to try and assist you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.